The team at LocalGlobe is proud to announce our involvement with project #MovingForward, a volunteer-run, open-source directory of inclusion, diversity and anti-harassment policies and commitments from VCs. The initiative aims to set standards for the industry and drive positive change by making these policies available and more inclusive. Participating VCs include Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, First Round, Greylock Partners, Y Combinator, and over 100 others in the US. Today, the initiative has launched in Europe and LocalGlobe is happy to be part of the community alongside Atomico, Balderton, Change Ventures, Capital 300, and Entrepreneur First.
We are proud that diversity and inclusion have always been reflected in who we are as a fund and how we support our founder community. LocalGlobe strives for a work environment that promotes respect, openness, responsibility and integrity for all of our team, founders, service providers and co-investors. Beyond LocalGlobe, we’re committed to continuing to find the best ways to support founders to build more representative and inclusive companies. We fully support #MovingForward’s mission to promote diverse, inclusive and harassment-free workplaces.
We know that diversity and inclusion is about more than words or policies. We’ve listed a some of our initiatives below, all of which are works in progress:
We want to see more women entrepreneurs build great businesses. Our partners Julia Hawkins, Suzanne Ashman Blair, and Tara Reeves established a group of London-based VC partners to help support the female founder community. Inspired by some of our friends in the US who have set up AllRaise, we founded femalefounders.vc. We know that smaller networks are an issue for female founders, and we want to level the access playing field. We run quarterly sessions, where female entrepreneurs have a 1-on-1 meeting with decision makers at local VC firms for an informal conversation. We have also hosted round table events so the entrepreneurs can meet a community of other female founders. In 2018, LocalGlobe backed 8 companies with female founders, out of a total of 22 companies — 36% female led. Still plenty of room for improvement.
We also want to see more female angel investors seed the next wave of founders. We surveyed the founders at a recent female founders office hours event and 58% cited lack of access to angels as a key obstacle to fundraising. We know that female angels support women founders: 30–50% of companies in portfolios of female angels are founded by women. Just 15% of angel investors in the UK are women creating a significant early stage gap. We are actively looking to increase female angels in our network and are hoping to encourage more women to angel invest. We recently hosted a female angel meet up in partnership with Jenny Tooth and the UK Business Angels Association. We know there’s appetite for many follow-up events.
Our Operations Partner Emma Phillips routinely highlights the importance of having diverse teams when discussing talent with founders. Over the next few months she will be working closely with portfolio founders to ensure they all have appropriate policies — for diversity and anti-harassment, and also maternity and paternity policies that promote inclusive teams.
This afternoon, we are hosting a workshop on using internship programmes to promote inclusive entry-level hiring and best practices for hiring school leaver talent. Just one of many events hosted by our operations manager Rose McCourt.
Over the next month, we are working on a research report based on data from Dealroom that identifies more than 2,500 European venture-backed companies led by female founders.
At LocalGlobe, we believe strongly that founders and their teams benefit from community and data insights, so that’s been the focus of our inclusion efforts to date. If you have other ideas for us, we’d love to hear from you.